“Pay attention to how you feel,” I would ask this of people all the time as a missionary. I knew what to expect, but perhaps I didn’t understand why exactly saying this was so necessary. Now, after each day of having to drag with me a load of my weaknesses and shortcomings, I am frequently at a loss at how to regain myself. I seem to recognize that I am just a footprint that society wishes to erase. I never anticipate, and similarly neither do I expect it, to enjoy peace. In fact I seldom remember that this is what I crave when I lack others to help lift me.
At this very moment, all I care about is that I have peace. Right now. And it feels familiar, but still fresh. Like I know that I have felt it countless times before, but it still feels like such a rarity all the same. It seems transient and dispensable, like a spell that eventually will break, but can be enjoyed for a stretched bubble of time.
This is how I felt as a child, sitting in the dark at the piano with only a lamp above and the silence surrounding whatever reality I chose to create. This is how I felt during long nights at New Heritage, facing the large window and seeing a future as wide as my view. This is how I felt as I stepped foot onto the airplane on the first day of my mission, boosted by the words of the blessing given by my patriarch. This is how I felt on a long drive from Port Macquarie, listening to waves breaking on the rocks and the sound of earnest prayer. This is how I felt after a day in Hyde Park, hearing the words of others who shared the peace they felt in their hearts, as I shared mine. It passed, but it was real.
I am impressionable. I listen for the beauty of music, the deepness of words. My heart is open to the dews of heaven, soft enough to plant the seeds of inspiration. This is the mind of an innovator, a creator, and a thinker. This is everything that is necessary in an anxious, buzzing world ever in need of more, always more. Memories of light seem brighter than the sun under which I walk every day. This too will pass, but I am inclined to believe that it is real.
In every hardship, every trial with seemingly no end, the words “this will pass” never seems to strike with the power of its truth at the correct moment. But then peace arrives, time after time, so that it feels like a dream. And maybe in a way it is, as I could throw it all away if I wanted and become anxious once again. Somewhere in my heart I can’t help but feel that this world is meant to have meaning. I’m not sure what that meaning is. I feel as though I don’t need to know, and that having such little light is enough for now. I know that soon I will say goodbye to this brief moment of my life when I can enjoy that something deep can touch me, as it was meant to, and I hope that when I return to whatever state my life is in, I can appreciate the rays of light that, at times, I am privileged to touch.